Keeping your stainless steel sparkling and streak free can be a challenge. This guide is about cleaning stainless steel appliances.
Use Windex and coffee filters. The fibers in the coffee filters help get handprints and other things off stainless steel much better than a paper towel and dries clean without leaving smudges.
By Debbie N from Tacoma, WA
By Daphne 1
I never removed the blue film from the front of my new stainless steel dishwasher. I was trying to keep it clean! I started to remove it today and it has glued itself to the stainless steel. I am very slowly pulling little pieces away, but this might take weeks.
Has this happened to anyone else? How might you proceed to remove the blue film without scratching or ruining the stainless front panel? Advice welcome.
For 3 years I have been struggling to keep my stainless steel appliances clean. They always have drip marks and finger prints on them. Finally, I found the perfect solution and it is something almost everyone has in their home.
First clean the surface with warm soapy water and rinse. Yes, I know, you're going to see a lot of streaks. But, then spray WD-40 on a soft, lint-free cloth (I used an old t-shirt) and wipe over the stainless steel surface. Just a tiny bit will do it.
A very thin layer of WD-40 will really shine your appliances up and keep them smudge free for a long time. If finger prints or smudges do show up, just a dry soft cloth will erase them instantly. What a time saver this has been! Try it for yourself.
Source: I found this tip online after a very frustrating, and unsuccessful cleaning attempt.
By antiquefreeque from WI
I am wanting to find a way to clean the top and outside of my stainless steel gas stove. I have tried soapy water like the instructions say or just a wet wash cloth, but it always leaves water spots or smudges. Please help me. Thanks.
July 18, 2011
We have a stainless steel elevator in this building. We use baby oil on a t-shirt rag to wipe down the walls, it doesn't leave any streaks.
By val burns 2
After cleaning your stainless steel, smear on some baby oil with a dry cloth. The stains will be easier to remove in future.
By toybox45 from renfrew
Instead of spending money on high priced cleaners, to clean stainless steel appliances. Use plan old alcohol.
By kattt 1
Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp baking soda, and 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide. Add 4-6 cups hot water. Use a clean cloth. Dip cloth in solution and wring out, leaving cloth a little sloppy. Wipe down stainless steel with cloth. Allow to sit a minute. Wipe down with a dry cloth. Then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Very shiny! This solution also works to mop linoleum and tile floors and to clean the bathroom!
An easy way to clean and polish stainless steel appliances is with vegetable oil and a rag. Dampen the rag with some vegetable oil, wipe down the appliance and it will shine like new.
By DONNA 1
To clean smudge marks off stainless steel appliances, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub over the spots. Then wipe the appliance down with plain water, and dry.
By DAISY MAY from Coconut Creek, FL
By julie 1
I have a lot of buildup of stainless steel appliance cleaner. My frig doors are all smudged with build up. If I use the stainless cleaning pads I bought at the store, it looks good for a few hours, then it gets even more smudged with build up. Can anyone help me? I'm at my wits end!
By Julie from Medford, NJ
April 11, 2011
Use eazy off oven cleaner on stainless steel. All grease will lift off.
We recently had a house fire and my stainless steel back splash and vent-a-hood have a dull, film on them. The cleaning people used industrial cleaner and stainless steel cleaner and it's still dull with no shine. I have recleaned both myself to no avail. Any suggestions on how to get this cleaned would be appreciated. Thanks.
By Jules J
What is the best way to clean around burners on a stainless gas range?
By jan3637 1
Can anyone help on how to clean fingerprints off of a stainless steal appliance?
By Janet K.
I work for a cleaning company and we use Elco stainless steel cleaner. A lot of our stainless steel fridges, dishwashers, and ovens are getting a greasy (sticky like) buildup. When we try to buff out smudges, it only gets worse. We do not know what to do? We need help getting the residue buildup off and then what would be good to use? Please help.
June 2, 2012
A good grease remover is Lestoil (good luck, finding that in your grocery store nowadays). Another is ammonia. If you can get commercial grade it is more cost effective and it lasts much longer because it is so strong. Be careful with it; the fumes are overwhelming, and you should dilute it. Be sure the windows are open while you use it. And wear protective gloves, with either of these.
Also, don't use synthetic cloth to clean the stainless steel with either of these products. Use only clean cotton material that has NOT been rinsed with fabric softener. Or use paper towels (but that is so UN-Thrifty).
Your stainless steel will gleam after a wash down with either of these.
By Kim 1
A harsh cleaner was used on some stainless steel appliances. It looks like it stripped away the surface. I am not sure if it was a clearcoat of some type. Please help! How can I restore the luster and shine to the front of the appliances?
By Kim from Sacramento, CA
September 21, 2010
My mother splashed Drano on her stainless steel coffee maker and it has left a terrible stain. I don't think that this can be polished off. What was the harsh cleaner that was used on your appliances? That might make a difference. If you find out how to bring back the shine to your appliances, perhaps I could do the same for the coffeemaker.
By JJ 1
Is it safe to use vinegar to clean hard water stains in a washing machine with a stainless steel tub? If so, do I use full strength or dilute?
By JJ from The Woodlands, TX
We have a smallish kitchen and stainless appliances. I've found my best solution is to use Awesome (at most dollar stores). I spray it, one door at a time, and use old towels or t-shirts to get some scrubbing ability. It gets just about everything off. I then wipe it down with clear water and/or vinegar, then a quick Windex. Paper towels or coffee filters work for the Windex step. I prefer a clean cloth for everything.
This removes not only the cooking and handprint crud, but, with a smoker in the house, it removes that too. In truth, there's nothing better made for removing smoking residue (even years of accumulation) than Awesome. Just be careful on painted surfaces.
I have dishwasher liquid stains on a stainless steel stove top. How can I remove them?
By Carol D from Muscat, Oman
I have dark discoloration stains from spills around my burners on my stove. Can anyone tell me what to use to remove them?
The gel dishwasher soap has made marks on the stainless steel front panel. How can I get the marks out?
By Bonnie from Valparaiso, IN
|We have recently moved to a home that has stainless steel appliances and I have a hard time keeping them free of fingermarks, etc. Does anyone have advice on the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?|
Joan from Chesterfield, MI
|RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances||10/17/2005|
|They sell stuff to clean it at places like Lowes, but you need to read the directions and do as they say, otherwise they don't polish out right. I hate these appliances because I clean houses and they are a real pain. I recently used a cleaner that sprays on, it is in a grayish colored can and worked really well after reading the directions.|
|By Dede (Guest Post)|
|RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances||10/17/2005|
|Use window cleaner and a soft rag. It will clean and polish your Stainess Steel appliances to a mirror finish.|
|By Linda W. (Guest Post)|
|RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances||10/17/2005|
|I use bartenders secret. It is a mild cleansing power like comet, but milder. It takes off rust and is great on my stainless steel sink! I never knew how much build up was on it until I tried this! Plus, it is the cheapest powdered cleanser I have ever seen!|
|By lpatterson (Guest Post)|
|RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances||11/20/2005|
|I've tried all those Special stainless steel cleaners/polishes and all they did was make a mess and cost me money! Then I tried Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner with Vinegar and it works GREAT!|
|By Marilyn E.|
|RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances||04/09/2006|
|I use pledge. It acts like a protector which lasts about 2 weeks. Shouldn't see any kind of marks.|
|By Marlis (Guest Post)|
Need to know how to clean stainless steel fronts of kitchen appliances. I know to go with the grain, but what do I use? A commercial product or homemade?
B. Roberts from Olympia, WA
White vinegar and a paper towel. Wipe in one direction. (04/23/2006)
See #57 in particular.
For stubborn spots, try club soda, rubbing alcohol, or a thin paste of baking soda & water, with the grain & a non-abrasive cloth. I have to admit the club soda did work very well at removing some nasty "stuff" from front of the dishwasher door. Had to apply & rub a few times but it worked very well. (04/24/2006)
Using a couple of teaspoonful of Cream of Tartar and vinegar in a paste will clean and shine. Rinse off with warm water and dry with soft cloth. This also takes off coffee stains in my coffee pot and baked on grease off the glass oven door & the stainless steel tray from the toaster oven.This worked better that baking soda/vinegar. (04/25/2006)
I bought all stainless steel appliances for my kitchen. What a mistake. Almost impossible to keep clean. Trying different things on my fridge to clean it has ruined the front of the door. DO NOT USE anything with a abrasive in it such as Comet or soap pads as it will scratch the surface. I use a foam cleaner for stainless steel by 3M Co. that works well. One could also buy other brands made specifically for stainless steel at big box stores as well. (04/25/2006)
Try Microfibre cloths. They work well. (04/25/2006)
I have all stainless appliances and my husband(a plumber) taught me to use a paper towel and plain old baby oil to clean the fronts. It removes dirt, fingerprints etc. Use a small amount, go with the grain and then wipe over with a clean paper towel to get the excess. Works great and is very inexpensive. A bottle is only a dollar at the store! (04/25/2006)
use WD40 (04/25/2006)
Use 100% pure virgin olive oil on a lint free, clean cloth, to polish stainless steel to a smudge free shine. I hardly believed it myself but tried it today and was truly amazed. It is MUCH cheaper buying the oil than it is to buy a small bottle of stainless cleaner. Plus you can't cook with the stainless cleaner! (05/02/2006)
I don't know how Marlis figured this out but Pledge is fabulous.I am obsessive about streaks/fingerprints and could never get the fridge door to look perfect enough. I tried EVERYTHING- Thank You
P.S. I now use it on my black cook top also.( (06/28/2006)
By mbp @ projects . com
I use white vinegar and baking soda to clean the tough stuff (going with the grain of course) then polish with pledge. Spray rag until wet with white vinegar and dip into baking soda and clean! (09/08/2006)
White distilled vinegar and a soft cloth should do the trick (05/29/2007)
I've used every commercial product I could find, but found the very best method by accident. One day I dripped something on the front of my stainless steel dishwasher and grabbed my microfiber dishcloth to wipe it off. I expected to have to go over it with a commercial product but to my astonishment, the wet microfiber cloth left no "swipe" marks. I now use just the wet microfiber cloth and don't even dry it. It's like magic. I got my cloths on-line at Merry Microfiber. They're very thick and seem to work better than the thin ones you get in the store. (06/04/2007)
Hi, thanks for all of these wonderful tips. I just brought 3 ss appliances and had no idea it was such a pain keeping the fingerprints off. i would have never brought them if i knew they were so high maintenance. I can't stand anything that you have to get a special cleaner for that one thing. I'll try the microfiber cloth or pledge. Thanks (07/28/2007)
I just used Old English furniture polish because I didn't have any pledge. It worked beautifully! I cleaned everything with Windex first to remove dirt and dust and then polished them up and they look better than they ever have! (01/04/2008)
The pledge worked great. Thank you! (01/25/2008)
Vinegar and baking soda can clean almost anything. (02/01/2008)
I clean the appliances with windex and then polish with olive oil. The olive oil really makes the stainless shine beautifully. (02/25/2008)
By Robyn A.
Thanks Jron for your tip on the olive oil, it works great, and since I cannot live without it in my kitchen, it's free!
I would say that Lemon Oil and Baby Oil would work as well, but who wants to buy if you don't have to. (05/30/2008)
We bought a stainless steel refrigerator with French doors about 8 months ago. It was expensive and is beautiful. I suspect I'm not cleaning it right, since I can not get all the marks off the refrigerator. Some of the marks just look like water spots or drips. What are your suggestions for cleaning a stainless steel refrigerator?
Tina S from Ashland, OR
Bar Keeper's Friend...it is a cleaner and works AWESOME! I have a stainless steal double sink in our kitchen and use it all the time. Leaves it looking new and shiny. (07/07/2008)
The only commercial product I've found that works is, Cerama Brite Stainless Steel Cleaning Polish and Conditioner. It contains mineral oil. You rub it on, with the grain (like waxing a car), let it dry for a second, then wipe off with a dry cloth. Works great. They have another cleaner but it doesn't have mineral oil. I didn't like that one. I Couldn't find it locally so I ordered it online. Good luck. (07/08/2008)
Use any of the great suggestions for getting the fridge clean, but once it is clean, use Vaseline to keep it from streaking and for an easy clean up. Once clean, rub Vaseline over all the stainless steel. Then wipe clean in the same direction. The Vaseline seals the surface. When you get a smudge or fingerprint, just wipe with a cloth and the it instantly disappears. The Vaseline seals the dirt from the stainless steel. You will have to repeat the process every 6 months or so, when you finally wipe off all the Vaseline. You will not see it, but it is protecting your fridge. It is a trick that restaurants use for their kitchen appliances to make for an easy clean up each night. (07/08/2008)
I grew up in a house with a 1967 builder-grade stainless steel stove top oven and sink. My mom always used plain mineral oil & a soft cloth to clean it. We owned that house for 35 years & it still had the original Stainless appliances in it when we sold it 3 years ago & they still looked like new!
What she did was: put some mineral oil on to the soft cloth (flannel works great) then wiped it on to the stainless, then she buffed it off with a clean part of the rag afterward.
If you sometimes need to use a harsher cleanser to remove stubborn grease & grime, be sure to always end the cleaning session with mineral oil, then buff it off... This will remove any finger prints & keep your stainless looking like new! (07/08/2008)
I use straight rubbing alcohol (any store brand) on a paper towel. It can be used to clean stainless steel sinks, faucets, and handles too. It's real quick! (07/08/2008)
By Flos in Boston,MA
It seems to me that someone mentioned using those Mr. Clean sponge things. They do a good job on a lot of things! Worth a shot! Good luck!
Used the olive oil! Wonderful tip. I was almost sorry I bought stainless appliances. (08/06/2008)
Use good ole Murphy's Oil Soap. The small amount of oil in it does a great job of polishing without the downside of things like olive oil which can attract dust. Best method: take a wet microfiber cloth with a quarter size amount of Murphy's in the center. Rub the Murphy's directly onto the fridge. (by the way, microfiber cloths purchased in the auto dept. are bigger and cheaper than getting them in the cleaning section of the store). Immediately after the application of Murphy's, rub dry with another cloth. Works beautifully, is smudge less, and doesn't require a "specialty" cleaner that can only be used on the stainless. I like to simplify and not have multiple products laying around my house. I already use Murphy's on my hardwood floors. (09/01/2008)
By Loving my stainless
Use a microfiber cloth to clean your stainless steel appliances. A friend had a difficult time getting hers clean, so I gave her a microfiber dish cloth. She was very excited that it cleaned it so easily, and she didn't have to use anything but water. (09/10/2008)
Use 100% pure virgin olive oil on a lint free, clean cloth, to polish stainless steel to a smudge free shine. I hardly believed it myself but tried it today on my stainless steel refrigerator and was truly amazed. And it is MUCH cheaper buying the oil than it is to buy a small bottle of stainless cleaner. Another plus? You can't cook with the stainless cleaner!
By Jarron from Ocala, Florida
You can use baby oil too (05/14/2007)
All the tips on polishing stainless steel work, but be prepared to spend at least an hour on rubbing and polishing until you get the shine without the streaks! Stainless steel appliances are nice when they are new, but mainly a pain after the initial "wow"! They are hard to maintain. Personally, I would choose all white appliances if the choice was left to me. They are maintenance free and timeless and they allow me to have a life outside of polishing! (10/26/2007)
OMG - I am so excited! I have my refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and microwave back. I tried the olive oil and wow - they look great! I love them clean and shiny and I just couldn't keep them clean. The olive oil worked great!
The olive oil worked better than my stainless steel store-bought cleaner on my stainless steel trash can. It shines beautifully and does not leave a strong smell as does my other cleaner. Also, it is a very natural product so I no longer have to worry about keeping another harsh chemical in my house. Thanks for this great tip! (01/18/2009)
What is the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?
Robin from Petaluma, Ca
We bought a new house with stainless appliances and regretted it minutes after moving in. Anyone with kids knows this already - and we have 5 kids.
Finally I got it: wipe with a clean cloth and warm water. NO barkeeper's helper, that removes the protective coating on some stainless. Careful with Pledge and other waxy stuff - that'll build up. Wipe with warm water, then a small spray of WD-40. Polish the appliance with a dry paper towel, and wipe until it looks dry. Prevents fingerprints, lasts forever, and makes cleaning next time really, really easy.
Note that a lot of the expensive wipes from Endust or Pledge contain the same silica based solution...this is just way, way cheaper. (09/18/2008)
By Rick Rick
The woman with five children had the ultimate solution - WD40 after wiping with warm water. Bingo! That is the best solution I've tried and my appliances look wonderful - shiny and clean. Trust someone with five kids to have the answer to problem cleaning. She's my hero! (10/03/2008)
Use Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish followed by your standard stainless steel cleaner, and water marks on your fridge will be gone. (10/05/2008)
By John S.
I use mineral oil and keep a not-too-oily rag around for knives, cutting boards and various stone tools. After thoroughly cleaning my stainless steel refrigerator with 90% alcohol, I gave it a good rubbing of mineral oil. Now, I can just give the refrigerator a swift wipe with said not-too-oily rag and fingerprints are gone. BTW, the coating is thin enough that it does not feel oily and does not collect dust.
I use mineral oil because it is food safe and will not go rancid like vegetable-based oils. (10/13/2008)
By Mugly W.
How do I clean stainless steel appliances?
By firstname.lastname@example.org from FL
There are many products you could use. I use stainless steel cleaner in an aerosol can available most anywhere. Other people have used other products with good results such as pledge (06/18/2009)
You don't need any cleaner at all. Get a microfiber cloth-ring it in hot water. Wipe your appliances down. Do the same for window really works. (06/18/2009)
I completely agree with those who suggested microfiber cloths - they are miraculous. With only water, you can clean stainless steel, glass, mirrors, countertops, TV and computer screens, even painted surfaces. You can buy a large package of them in the auto department of Wal Mart or at an auto supply store - much cheaper than the ones in the linen dept. (06/19/2009)
Just scrolled through reading all of the suggestions. My appliances her covered with water spots, fingerprints (two small children are so hard on stainless steel) and some very light surface rust (very annoying for appliances that are only a few years old.)
Until now we have always used the stainless steel cleaning spray- It hasn't worked very well.
Anyway, the only thing I had on hand was the baking soda. With a toothbrush, I scrubbed the surface of my stainless steel appliances (testing a small area first), rinsed with a warm wet rag, and then dried with a clean soft cloth. It was a laborious task but the results were amazing.
The rust, the water spots, the fingerprints, everything is gone and my appliances look like they did the day we put them in!
Well worth the time invested!
Just when your kitchen's stainless steel appliances seem doomed to be forever smudged and streaked, here comes Mr Stainless Shine to the rescue. My personal 5 step clean and shine method will make even the worst stainless look new again.
Step 1: Aquire a "Mr Clean, Magic Eraser " cleaning pad. Pour rubbing alcohol onto pad. GENTLY rub cleaning pad with the grain of the surface until all of the drip marks and finger prints are gone. Let air dry. Dispose of cleaning pad properly.
Step 2: With a micro-fiber cloth, wipe entire surface with clean hot water to remove all residues. Dry with a second dry micro-fiber cloth.
Step 3: Using a third micro-fiber cloth, pour baby oil onto the cloth and rub with the grain. Cover entire surface. When done, you may find that the oil is heavy in some spots and thin in other spots. Just try pushing a little harder while buffing with the grain till the surface looks evenly distributed.
Step 4: Using yet another micro-fiber cloth,fresh and clean and free of anything, buff the surface until it shines like BRAND NEW.
Step 5: Once done,for maintained, you may have to wipe surface with a clean micro-fiber cloth to occasionally redistribute oil and high gloss shine.
Disclaimer: As with all new cleaning techniques, please try this method in an inconspicuous spot that will not be seen if it does not work as described.
Thanks and good luck with that pesky stainless steel that's no longer pesky.
By Mr Stainless Shine from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Every week I put a little mineral oil on a soft dish cloth that I use just for that purpose, and shine away. I've never had to use anything else, and family members as well as two contracters I've hired, now use it to polish up stainless steel they use. (11/12/2009)
Are you kidding me? who has time for the 5 steps? Really, just use Lemon Oil! I have all SS appliances and all I do is put some Lemon Oil on a micro fiber cloth, and clean as I would anything else! I always have friends telling me how great my kitchen appliances look! (11/21/2009)
You have GOT to be kidding "Mr. Stainless Shine"! I will try the other suggestions on here though. As I said on another posting here "Avoid Buying Stainless Steel appliances". NEVER AGAIN!(05/08/2010)
To clean stainless steel appliances use an after-shower spray, which are basically highly softened water. Spray and wipe with microfiber cloth or paper towels. No streaking! I tried at least seven other cleaners before hitting upon this inexpensive method.
By digby from PA